Saturday, December 12, 2009

THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT...

My family and I memorized this poem and did it with some friends as a skit several years ago. As I was looking through one of my favorite poem books (Poems for Memorization) tonight, I found this poem/story and thought I'd share it with you.

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"The elephant, the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, "Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me 'tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he;
"Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said:"E'en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact, who can?
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

Moral:

So oft in theologic wars,
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
~Poem by John G. Saxe

5 comments:

Hannah said...

I have always liked that story! I like memorizing poems too!
~Hannah
PS
I sent that email!

Kimberly said...

So true! We all see what we see and it is usually different than what others see. I love hearing different viewpoints as I realize that (gulp) I am not always right!

Dilvîn said...

I like that poem!
I think I have read it somewhere a long time ago.

I enjoyed the pictures of the trail to your ice rink!
It would be so different to me if I lived there where I could see for miles and miles without a tree or Hill to block my way. It is a beautiful earth God has made! So many different lands that are unique!

Rachel said...

I've never come across this poem before, but it is good!:)

Miss Jen said...

What a CUTE poem! :)

*hugs*
Love~ Jen